Governor Declares Sevier Co. Wildfires Major Disaster
The Sevier County wildfires may not be declared a federal disaster area…but on Wednesday Governor Bill Lee did his part to help by declaring the Hatcher Mountain and Millstone Gap wildfires a major disaster. Executive Order No. 96 declaring those fires a major disaster and a state of emergency will make it easier for contractors to engage in wildfire damage cleanup, provided that the person has sufficient experience and knowledge in the field. It also allows state and county clerks to waive fees for the issuance of duplicate car titles to replace a motor vehicle title lost or damaged in the fires…the executive order also gives the Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security the discretion to waive fees for duplicate drivers licenses or photo ID’s to persons affected by the wildfires…and gives the State Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance discretion to direct Tennessee-licensed insurance companies to make reasonable efforts to assist policyholders who experienced losses and work with policyholders whose payments may have been delayed due to mail disruption or as a result of displacement. Those two wildfires burned over 3,400 acres and damaged or destroyed 221 structures during the 7 days they were burning.